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Guest Roffensis

Philip Glass

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Oh no, M'sieur, he means the Duruflé all right. He was clearly reacting to the textures without being able to appreciate the overall effect. The performance may have been to blame of course, or maybe he simply has no empathy with impressionist music. Actually it sounds as though he can't quite cope with the fact that Duruflé didn't merely write a second Fauré Requiem. He wouldn't be the first. It is very tempting to make comparisons since both share a similar vision and, after Fauré's simplicity, Duruflé's luxuriant textures can take some getting used to. When people first encouter the Duruflé I believe it is quite usual for them initially to prefer the Fauré, but to end up preferring the other.

 

Ah well, Vox - it was just a thought.

 

I must admit that I was stunned the first time that I heard the Duruflé Requiem. I must say that I find the Kyrie quite possibly the most sublime piece of choral and organ* writing in the repertoire. I find this section rather moving.

 

 

 

* I am aware that there are at least three versions of the accompaniment. However, my preference is for that with organ only.

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Ah well, Vox - it was just a thought.

 

I must admit that I was stunned the first time that I heard the Duruflé Requiem. I must say that I find the Kyrie quite possibly the most sublime piece of choral and organ* writing in the repertoire. I find this section rather moving.

* I am aware that there are at least three versions of the accompaniment. However, my preference is for that with organ only.

Me too, though it's the final movement that does it for me - and preferably in the full orchestral version. Once you've heard that final note pinged on the harp, the organ will always sound second-best. Didn't someone call Duruflé the best French orchestrator since Ravel? :blink:

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Me too, though it's the final movement that does it for me - and preferably in the full orchestral version. Once you've heard that final note pinged on the harp, the organ will always sound second-best. Didn't someone call Duruflé the best French orchestrator since Ravel? :blink:

 

It is lovely, Vox. However, I have heard one or two quite good attempts to imitate the final harp major ninth note on an organ.

 

I had not heard the quote regarding Duruflé and Ravel. However, I do recall that there is a small section in Ravel's Bolero, where he simulates a Tierce in the orchestral woodwind.

 

Not that this has anything to do with Duruflé's Requiem....

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Is anyone else old enough to remember the redoubtable Fyffe Robertson, the man who coined the abbreviation "phart" to describe phoney art? I imagine he was probably the first person to use the word on TV.

 

 

==================================

 

 

I love the story Fyffe Robertson related about the lady cleaner, who found a toilet-roll, a bucket with 2 inches of water in it, and brown stains on the white walls.

 

Dutifully, she cleared up the mess, only to discover that she had destroyed one of the exhibits of contemporary art!

 

:blink:

 

 

MM

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Me too, though it's the final movement that does it for me - and preferably in the full orchestral version. Once you've heard that final note pinged on the harp, the organ will always sound second-best. Didn't someone call Duruflé the best French orchestrator since Ravel? :blink:

If you don't know them try to hear the Trois Danses,Op 6 - very lush orchestrations and a fat Saxophone solo in the second.

 

BTW what does it say that we started with P Glass and have got to M Durufle - a minimalist composer in a different sense (number of works)!

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If you don't know them try to hear the Trois Danses,Op 6 - very lush orchestrations and a fat Saxophone solo in the second.
Oh yes. Fabulous works. But I still await the definitive recording. Actually, the only complete one I know of is the one conducted by Duruflé's himself, but, frankly, it's not that good. I've a rather better one on cassette from an especially-recorded BBC breoadcast (the Tambourin especially is far tighter and tidier - and so more exciting). There was a really sumptuous performance of the Danse lente by Andrew Davies on his LP of the Requiem, but I don't think it ever made it onto a CD - when the Requiem was re-released it was coupled with the Fauré.

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======================

 

 

This has given me a quite extraordinary idea. Instead of worrying about musical form, phrasing or about getting the notes in the right order (at least not upside down or back to front), I could give a recital where I play all the notes at the same time, using all the stops and couplers. This way, I could claim that I have performed all that is necessary, and that it would be up to the members of the audience (such as remain), to imagine how it should sound and thus enter into the creative process.

 

The technique would involve laying across the pedal-board periodically, and thrashing around like a beached dolphin. Then I would leap to the manuals, and with a grand gesture, clutch at my heart and fall across the keys; a vague hint of the ethereal as I then slid downwards, to end on a tone-cluster using a magical "Erzahler Celeste" registration on the Choir Organ. (You have to consider the lucrative American market).

 

I think I would call the work "The last trump," which has suitable religious connotations, because although the critics and at least some of the audience could be persuaded to remain for the duration of the performance, (with promises of cheese and wine) it is very unlikely that they would remain in the pews if the work were entitled "Phartasia."

 

:blink:

 

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass is very underrated....................

 

 

========================

 

 

I'll stick to Bach. One could never accuse HIM of being a mathematician.

 

 

:lol:

 

MM

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Guest Roffensis

MM

 

 

========================

I'll stick to Bach. One could never accuse HIM of being a mathematician.

:)

 

MM

 

 

Really!!!!

 

R B)

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MM

 

 

========================

I'll stick to Bach. One could never accuse HIM of being a mathematician.

:)

 

MM

Really!!!!

 

R B)

 

 

=========================

 

Or a Latin scholar.

 

MM

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People may be interested to know that Philip Glass composed the music for the currently showing film "The Illusionist".

 

Peter

 

 

=========================

 

Did they use smoke and mirrors?

 

MM

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I played part of his Contrary Motion for Organ yesterday during communion, and received some positive comments such as "atmospheric" and "setting the mood nicely". This was a truly ecumenical occassion - one of the comments came from a former Anglican priest converted to Catholicism, and Philip Glass himself is a committed Buddhist!

 

Peter

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Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

 

Philip Glass

 

It's just a joke....

B

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Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Knock knock.

Who's there?

 

Philip Glass

 

It's just a joke....

B

 

I like that very much indeed. If you did it another twenty times with an abrupt pause halfway through, you could use it for Karl Jenkins too.

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Guest Roffensis

Knock knock

Who's there?

Knock knock

 

 

Mozart?

 

How about Sourabji.....

 

How about drawing all couplers to pedals and "rolling about" on the pedalboard.

 

You could always use a fist/arm, strike a manual and call it "Elevation et uno de duh de duh avec a tweetie birdie Frenchy".......trills an optional extra.

 

How far do we go before we learn to be broad, and accomodating?

 

Far better to be NARROW, it's so educated and hip, don't you know!?

 

The music degree almost dictates it.....

 

Doesn't it!?

 

R :)

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How far do we go before we learn to be broad, and accomodating?

 

Far better to be NARROW, it's so educated and hip, don't you know!?

 

The music degree almost dictates it.....

 

Doesn't it!?

Before you go around accusing people of being narrow-minded, perhaps you would have the courtesy to answer my post #2. Show me where the talent and skill is in minimalistic music and you'll find me ready enough to appreciate it. But then, it seems from your post above that you don't agree with the concept of musical education, so I guess I may have a long wait. :)

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Before you go around accusing people of being narrow-minded, perhaps you would have the courtesy to answer my post #2. Show me where the talent and skill is in minimalistic music and you'll find me ready enough to appreciate it. But then, it seems from your post above that you don't agree with the concept of musical education, so I guess I may have a long wait. :)

 

Roffensis doesn't need me to defend his position, but I'd like to chip in with a few thoughts as I happen to share his enthusiasm for Glass and the like. To me, the talent and skill of minimalist music and its composers lie in part in the apparently simple but really deceptively difficult task of maintaining for 10, 15 or even 20 minutes (I here refer to Glass's organ works - there are much lengthier examples of the form) a musically coherent argument which maintains interest derived from the simplest of musical cells - maybe just one or two of them in any given piece.

 

I think too that there is a certain politico-philosophical element to the music with its apparent rejection of certain of the compexities seen in the development of western music and its possible call to what the composers (though not necessarily their advocates) might understand to be a simpler or even purer form of music which is in reality as difficult to sustain as the more obviously complex forms of contemporary music. (I don't agree with this thinking, but that will not stop me appreciating minimalist music alongside other styles of composition.)

 

Vox you will have read on this thread that both R and I have received positive "feedback" (dread word!) from our respective congregations having exposed them, to some Glass - and so if we as church musicians (and I am aware that not all on this forum are) can elicit positive comments from people (some of whom said they had never heard of Glass before) then tjhis musit count for something.

 

There is talent and skill evident in every musical form as well as a complete lack of it and if this goes for pop music (compare the Beatles to the Venga Boys for example), Victorian hymnody or even contemporary organ music it is surely true of minimalism.

 

Peter

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Knock knock

Who's there?

Knock knock

Mozart?

 

How about Sourabji.....

 

How about drawing all couplers to pedals and "rolling about" on the pedalboard.

 

You could always use a fist/arm, strike a manual and call it "Elevation et uno de duh de duh avec a tweetie birdie Frenchy".......trills an optional extra.

 

How far do we go before we learn to be broad, and accomodating?

 

Far better to be NARROW, it's so educated and hip, don't you know!?

 

The music degree almost dictates it.....

 

Doesn't it!?

 

R :)

 

Hang on, I did say it was just a joke.....I rather like Glass's music, as it happens, was mad about Reich and Riley when I was a student, and I even studied with Feldman for a while.

 

But there is a serious point behind this, and that is simply that composers like Reich and Glass use the principle of repetition for a purpose which is not to be found in the music of Mozart, whose principle is development, motivic, tonal, whatever. Things which don't interest Glass. Feldman famously said "I like music which lets you hear what you want to hear", which for him happened to include Mozart and Josquin; music was for him "bubbles on the suerface of silence", a beautiful description of this kind of aesthetic.

 

So don't get your knickers in a twist!

 

Cheers

b

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Feldman famously said .....music was for him "bubbles on the surface of silence", a beautiful description of this kind of aesthetic.

 

 

=======================

 

 

A man who obviously bathed rather than showered.

 

 

 

MM

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To me, the talent and skill of minimalist music and its composers lie in part in the apparently simple but really deceptively difficult task of maintaining for 10, 15 or even 20 minutes (I here refer to Glass's organ works - there are much lengthier examples of the form) a musically coherent argument which maintains interest derived from the simplest of musical cells - maybe just one or two of them in any given piece.

In principle I don't have a problem with this at all since all I ever ask of music is that it both moves and sustains the intellect (and as far as what passes for my intellect is concerned it honestly doesn't take that much). If only minimalism were capable of doing that. However it seems from comments made previously that the minute this style of music succeeds in having enough content, development, call it what you will, to sustain the interest it effectively ceases to be minimalism. Did I mention that I had to suffer Gorecki's Totus tuus not so long ago? The basic idea is lovely, but within two minutes I was gnawing my arm off in boredom - and the piece went on (and on) for a good deal longer than that. Sorry, but for me atmosphere on its own is just not enough.

 

I think too that there is a certain politico-philosophical element to the music with its apparent rejection of certain of the compexities seen in the development of western music

It's the twentieth-century fallacy of having to be original to be good, isn't it? This isn't the place to start an argument about western versus non-western influences, but the "rules" of western classical music have evolved and accumulated over a number of centuries and for very good reasons. A composer rejects them at his/her peril. That is not to say they cannot be rejected - there is nothing inherently sacrosanct about them - but you'd better be sure that whatever values you put in their place are just as robust.

 

Vox you will have read on this thread that both R and I have received positive "feedback" (dread word!) from our respective congregations having exposed them, to some Glass - and so if we as church musicians (and I am aware that not all on this forum are) can elicit positive comments from people (some of whom said they had never heard of Glass before) then tjhis musit count for something.

I'm sure it does, but what? Forgive me, but just because the unwashed like a piece of music doesn't mean it's good. On that basis we'd all think Stainer's Crucifixion is good - and not even Stainer himself thought that. No. All it means is that the unwashed like it. That of course is a perfectly valid response on its own level and ample justification for performing such music. Nothing wrong with a bit of harmless enjoyment; after all, what on earth do we listen to music for? But we shouldn't make the mistake of equating popularity with quality.

 

Where I do think Roffensis has a point is that a musical education that teaches values and discrimination between good and bad will inevitably lessen the range of music it is possible for someone to enjoy. To that extent ignorance is indeed bliss. The flip-side is that if you get vastly heightened enjoyment out of knowing why a piece of music is good. But how educated do you want to be? In my case it really isn't all that much. I have read one or two surveys of the works of great composers which left me with the feeling that author believes they hardly wrote one decent piece. It's always easy to find fault. I think there's a case for focusing more on what's right with pieces rather than what's wrong with them.

 

So I have tried focusing on what's right with minimalistic music. It's just that there does not seem to be much. Usually the basic idea is very nice. And...? And...? Yet within the same aural sound world that minimalism seeks to conjure up supreme things can be achieved. Look no further than that marvellous piece with which King's ended their TV carol service last December. I'm not 100% sure I remember exactly what it was - Eric Whitacre's Lux aurumque? But I couldn't call it minimalistic. On the contrary, to my mind it showed up how intellectually sterile minimalism is. At least total serialism had an intellectual basis - but that ultimately proved equally sterile. As a technique it has its uses, but does anyone still seriously believe in it as an end in itself?

 

I'm still looking for minimalism that convinces. I'm still open minded. But Im not letting my brains fall out.

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How far do we go before we learn to be broad, and accomodating?

 

Far better to be NARROW, it's so educated and hip, don't you know!?

 

The music degree almost dictates it.....

 

Doesn't it!?

 

R :)

 

I seem to remember being savagely beaten around the head rather recently for taking things too seriously, by someone who was considering leaving, as it happens...

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